Do not use a self made template that is not printed on adhesive paper. HUGE waste of time. Try not to use so much etching cream. Make sure your image adheres without bubbles so that the etching cream does not leak underneath the stencil. Use an X-Acto knife. When washing, use water and a little dish detergent.Wash it straight on. Do not tilt your object to one side. Doing so helps the cream collect in the corners. Wash your object with the stencil on. Or you will smudge your masterpiece.